*Champions League holders, Liverpool
English clubs all managed to avoid a Group of Death as Tottenham, Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea all received favourable draws for the Champions’ League group stages according to reports by Mailonline.
The news platform reports that there was a case of history repeating itself as Manchester City got drawn with Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk for the third season in a row. Pep Guardiola’s side will also face Dinamo Zagreb and Champions League debutants Atalanta. Liverpool will renew a familiar rivalry as were paired with Serie A runners-up Napoli for a second successive season. Red Bull Salzburg and Genk complete Group E for Jurgen Klopp’s side. Frank Lampard’s Chelsea were handed the best draw from the English sides as they complete Group H with Ajax, Valencia and LOSC Lille.
The Blues return to the competition after winning the Europa League final against Arsenal in Baku, Azerbaijan last season. Ajax have seen a number of significant departures, including captain Matthijs de Ligt and midfielder Frenkie de Jong, and are considered a weaker opponent than the side that stunned en route to last season’s semi-finals.
Lille are strong but were one of the favourable teams to be drawn against after the Ligue 1 side lost star man Nicolas Pepe to Arsenal for £72million this summer. Liverpool are looking to make it back-to-back titles and will be confident of navigating Group C, despite going up against familiar nemesis Napoli, managed by Carlo Ancelotti.
The Italians edged out a 1-0 win in Naples during the group stage last season thanks to a stoppage time goal from Lorenzo Insigne. Klopp’s side won the reverse game at Anfield 1-0 in what was a must-win game to get out of the group. RB Salzburg and Genk will be viewed as winnable games for the Reds as they balance the Champions League with their bid for the Premier League title.
How They Are Grouped
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